KELLWOOD'S BOARD: Kellwood Co. has elected Ben Blount Jr. to the company's board. Blount was executive vice president, finance, planning and administration, and chief financial officer and director of Oxford Industries. He retired in 2004. Blount briefly left Oxford in 1982 to become president of Kayser-Roth Apparel, a group of 18 apparel, textile and hosiery companies owned by Gulf & Western Industries. He rejoined Oxford in 1986 as executive vice president, planning and development, and was elected to the board in 1987. He was named cfo in 1995. Blount's election to the board raises the number of Kellwood directors to 10.

PRESIDENTIAL POSTPONEMENT: President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao put off their meeting scheduled for today so Bush can contend with the destructive wake of Hurricane Katrina. The two presidents, who plan to reschedule the visit, were expected to touch on the ongoing negotiations for a broader textile and apparel import deal, the fourth round of which failed to bring about an agreement in Beijing last week. Hu and Bush will meet during the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

ON BOARD FOR CAFTA: The Dominican Republic approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement on Tuesday joining the U.S., El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in the pact, which is designed to foster economic development and trade. CAFTA has proven to be controversial, in part, because it allows some goods to be made with materials from countries outside the agreement, such as China. Nicaragua and Costa Rica have yet to approve CAFTA; however, that won't stop the other countries from implementing the agreement.

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